Lake Mburo National Park is a gem of a park, located in the western Uganda; it covers an area of 370km2. The park supports a variety of wildlife and the different bird species in the different habitats that s to say, forest, open savannah and acacia woodland, rock kopjes, seasonal and permanent swamps, and open water. This includes species such as impala, Burch ell’s zebra, and eland that are not found elsewhere in western Uganda. Lake Mburo National Park is the only Ugandan National Park to contain an entire lake; Situated in rolling hills and open grassy valleys the park also consists of four other smaller lakes. Lake Mburo National Park lies in a rain shadow between Lake Victoria and the Rwenzori Mountains, an average of only 800mm of rain a year, the long rains occurring from February to June, and the short rains from September to December. Most rain tends to fall in April and November. July and August are the hottest months.
Boat ride: The most popular activity is the boat trip (motor boat trip) which takes you around the lake and you are able to view hippos, waterbuck, crocodiles and three different types of otters. There are lots of water birds like African fish eagle, marabou stork, and pied king fisher, egrets, herons and Ross’ turacos.
Game drives: This is the best way to explore the park as you will spot the impalas and the zebras, buffalo topi among others. You will spot these on the road which connects to Sanga gate and Nshara gates. In the dry season you can spot warthog, Defassa waterbuck, bushbuck, elands, Butchell’s zebra and common duiker. You can also spot the park’s lakes, the Rwizi rive and fringing swamps.
Nature walks: Walks can start at a salt lick; it’s a walk to a nearby point where you can observe animals licking salt from the salty soil without distracting them. Guided nature walks can be arranged to go anywhere in the park though the most common place is the Rubanga forest associated with birders. The park has about 315 bird species and therefore serves as a good place for birding.
Getting to the park:
Two different roads connect Lake Mburo national park to the main surfaced road between Masaka and Mbarara. Coming from the west, the better approach road branches south at sanga, 37km east of Mbarara. Coming from Kampala, it is easier to use the road branching south from the 50km marker for Mbarara, about four to five hours drive. The approach roads are both quite rough, so a 4×4 vehicle is recommended.